The holiday season will often leave athletes feeling off-track with their nutrition and performance goals. Family gatherings center around large meals, celebratory foods, and alcohol, while training progressions are interrupted.

But what if the holidays didn’t result in “starting over” on January 1st? What if you could dump the diets and choose moderation, intuitive eating, and gratefulness this time of year?

Here’s the good news, you can! Keeping these tips in mind can make all the difference.

1. Banish the Boundaries

When foods are labeled as “good” versus “bad” and days designated as “cheating” versus “clean eating,” it sets you up for failure and negative self-talk. Actively choosing to have no boundaries with food leads to peace because all foods can fit throughout the year!


2. Stay Fueled

Athletes understand their body needs fuel frequently throughout the day. Most athletes eat every 2-4 hours, and this schedule can be maintained during the holidays, too. Skipping meals to indulge in a large feast later results in ignoring your hunger and fullness cues. Instead, try eating consistent meals and snacking throughout the day to maintain your energy levels and prevent overeating.


3. Listen to Your Body

Your body will talk to you, if you only listen! Take notes on how you know you’re hungry or full. Here are some signs of hunger: growling stomach, lack of focus, empty feeling, shakiness, headache, and irritability. To contrast, fullness may look like slowing down, a deep breath while eating, satisfaction, and decreased food thoughts.


4. Use Your Senses

One way to stay in tune with your body during this season is allowing yourself to eat all the foods that sound good. Grab your plate and choose the appetizers, entrees, and desserts that you want. Place them all in front of you to enjoy, but first soak in all the wonderful colors, smells, temperatures, and textures of the foods. If you’re still hungry after your first plate of senseful eating, grab more!


5. Stay Hydrated

Alcohol has a short and long-term impact on your performance. Alcohol dehydrates, which leads to increased risk of injury, decreased endurance, and sleep disruption (recovery). If you choose to partake, do so wisely by supporting your hydration needs throughout the rest of the day.


In Conclusion

Be kind to yourself this holiday season! For more support, call 952-456-7672 to schedule a meeting with one of our Sports Dietitians to reach your individualized goals.


Please send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.